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Sunday, August 28, 2011

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22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 20:7-9
Romans 12:1-2
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Matthew 16:21-27

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super duper

"You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped." —Jeremiah 20:7

God doesn't really dupe us. It just seems that way because we think not as God does, but as men do (Mt 16:23). Instead of duping us, the Lord has higher purposes.

  • He surprises us because He knows if He told us in advance, we couldn't bear it (Jn 16:12).
  • He tests us so we might grow and bear fruit (1 Thes 2:4). But along with the test, He strengthens and rescues us (1 Cor 10:13).
  • He calls us to serve Him, often before we're ready. God considers it "formation"; we consider it "being duped" (see Jer 20:7)
  • We're in a spiritual desert, and naturally consider it a dry period. Meanwhile, He woos us with desert love (Hos 2:16).

No, God doesn't deceive us. Jesus tells us right up front that if we are to be His disciple, we must deny our very self, take up our cross each and every day, and follow the same path to Calvary as He did (Lk 9:23). He doesn't even promise us a bed! (Lk 9:58) Yet Jesus promises us life to the full (Jn 10:10) and His very own joy (Jn 15:11).

The one who does the duping is Satan, with all his lies and empty promises. God's callings are accompanied by the best promises, those that always come true (Jos 23:14). Let yourself be "duped" — in the sense that you give the Holy Spirit permission to do far more than you could ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20).

Prayer:  Father, so often "I let myself be duped" by my low expectations of You. I abandon myself to You. Transform my life.

Promise:  "Do not conform yourselves to this age." —Rm 12:2

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus! Your Spirit brings us to fullness of life. Alleluia!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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